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Biochemistry. 1996 Dec 17;35(50):16264-9.

Kinetic mechanism of the Escherichia coli UDPMurNAc-tripeptide D-alanyl-D-alanine-adding enzyme: use of a glutathione S-transferase fusion.

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  • 1Department of Enzymology, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey 07065, USA.


The D-alanyl-D-alanine-adding enzyme encoded by the murF gene catalyzes the ATP-dependent formation of UDP-N-acetylmuramyl-L-gamma-D-Glu-meso-diaminopimelyl-D-Ala-D-Ala (UDP-MurNAc-tripeptide). MurF has been cloned from Escherichia coli and expressed as a glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion using the tac promoter-based pGEX-KT vector. From induced, broken cell preparations, highly active fusion was recovered and purified in one step by affinity chromatography. The purified fusion protein was strongly inhibited by substrate UDPMurNAc-tripeptide, a response unaltered by changes in assay pH or by cleavage from the fusion partner. However, this effect was suppressed by the addition of 0.5 M NaCl. Initial velocity and dead-end inhibitor studies with the fusion enzyme were most consistent with a sequential ordered kinetic mechanism for the forward reaction in which ATP binds to free enzyme, followed by tripeptide and D-Ala-D-Ala in sequence prior to product release. Reported homologies between the MurF protein and the three preceding steps of cytoplasmic murein biosynthesis, MurC, -D, and -E, [Ikeda et al. (1990) J. Gen. Appl. Microbiol. 36, 179-187], raise the prospect that all of these enzymes will be found to proceed via this mechanism.

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